- MY PLEDGE TO THE WOOSA -
Woosa / woooossaa /wooossaahhh = State of ultimate calm.
Let's face it, if we're not regularly getting quality rest, we just don't feel great. We don't perform as well, think as clearly or look as good (dull skin, dark eyes and wrinkles anyone?).
In the midst of an exciting (read hectic) January, my 'rest time' has been chipped away at, the struggle to switch-off pre-bedtime has intensified, and quite frankly I'm feeling it, seeing it and strongly disliking it!
So in an attempt to nip this pattern in the bud I've drawn up a plan for bedtime practices that I hope will help the 'wooooosaaaaaa'. Quick, simple(ish) and no doubt a pain in the backside initially, but I'm going to give it a go.
The excuse of "there's just not enough time for all this s...tuff" is of course on the tip of my tongue but I'm refusing to let it roll any further than that. If I'm not willing to make time in my life for the things that make me feel great, then what's the point?!
Whilst of course I hope to inspire you to ponder your own wind-down routines (or lack there of), selfishly this is more of a public statement - my pledge to switching off! So here it is...
GEORGIE'S PLEDGE TO SWITCHING OFF AND RESTING WELL.
1. SELECTIVE bedtime reading.
I'm an information junkie, but sparking up my overly excitable brain just before bed is not conducive to a good night's sleep. So no more thought provoking, knowledge accumulating, action inspiring reading in bed. Instead perhaps some fiction (gasp!), or if non-fiction, something light and fluffy. What do you like to read before bed? Please hit me up with some recommendations in the comments below!
2. NIGHTLY 'MIND DUMP' / 'FOCUS LIST'.
Whatever is on your mind, get it out and onto paper! To-do's, thoughts, reflections, worries, reminders. Cleanse your mind of these thoughts to create space for calm. This simple practice truly has changed my stress levels historically so I'm certain a more frequent practice now will only do me good. Rephrase your "to-do" list to one of the above titles - that in itself sets a far less stressful tone!
3. x3 DEEP BREATHS.
Ideally this would say 'meditate for a minimum of 10 minutes' but I'm keeping things excessively achievable. Before climbing into bed I will take at least 3 deep breaths to release the day and let it all go! This will go something like this in my head...
"Inhale joy.... Exhale overwhelm... Inhale love... Exhale fear... Inhale grace...Exhale anxiety."
*Insert relevant noun.
4. Limit Screen time for 1 hour before bed.
Ideally this should be 2 hours but with apps like 'flux' that limit blue light** I'm hoping 1 hour will be sufficient. It's certainly more realistic at this starting point!
** Blue light omitted from certain devices (TV, phones, computers, tablets etc.) mimics daylight and therefore interrupts our natural melatonin (sleep-inducing hormone) production. This is said to impact the quality of our sleep.
5. Bed = a phone free zone.
In an attempt to reinforce #4 phones will not be used in bed. This just brings too much external noise into the attempted calm. Note to self; must invest in a new alarm clock!
6. Use essential oils.
Whether it's with my oil diffuser (I'm obsessed!) or simply a few drops of lavender oil on my pillow, these old natural remedies can be great promoters of quality sleep and calm. Getting used to this as a part of my nightly routine can do no harm!
7. NO evening sugars and stimulants.
For me these basically means no dark chocolate after dinner if we're eating later. What a bummer! Excitatory chemicals found in foods and drinks, even if natural - sugars, caffeine and other stimulants - can severely impact our bodies wind-down chemistry, so worthwhile avoiding these later in the day!
Cutting into my sleep time normally comes from a lack of planning that day and a last minute rush to get things done. So instead I'm going to try and plan each day a little better. Know my wake-time for tomorrow then work backwards. Ask yourself what time do you need to be in bed to get the amount of sleep you need? How can you manage your time to make this happen?
9. End the day with "Thank you" and a smile.
A daily practice of gratitude transformed me. It took my focus from never being/having/achieving enough to being grateful for all the good that has filled my day. Whether the smallest detail or a large event, a challenge that taught me something or a moment in the sunshine - spending 1 minute drawing my attention to the lessons and awesomeness of that day can be truly transformational.
And so here it goes folks, an attempt to increase the woosa and decrease the wrinkles! I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, keep chasing lobsters and vibrantly living a life you love.